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Best Plants To Grow in Arizona

10 Plants That Will Survive In Arizona Full Sun 

Arizona Cactus

Arizona is a desert landscape state, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow plants! Due to the potential for harsh weather conditions in Arizona, choosing plants for zones that receive full sun can be extremely challenging for novice gardeners.

But some plants can grow beautiful flowers and veggies and may survive and even flourish in hotter climates. Many plants do well in Arizona’s full sun conditions. Arizona is home to various plants that can thrive in full sun, and here are 10 of the best!

Lantana (Lantana Camara)

Lantana camara is a tropical perennial plant that grows best in Arizona, reaching 6 feet tall. The flowers are white with a purple centre and are pollinated by bees. The leaves are fine and serrated, making the plant an ideal choice for landscaping.

Arizona is a great place to grow lantana. The plant grows well in dry and moist environments, making it a good choice for areas with various climate conditions. Additionally, lantana is an easy plant to grow and can be trained to form a neat, attractive hedge or border.

Desert Rose (Adenium Obesum)

Arizona is known for its desert landscape environment, which can be tough on plants. But the desert rose is one plant that thrives in dry conditions (Adenium obesum). This plant is drought-tolerant and grows well in both sun and shade. It has beautiful blooms often used in bouquets or as a filler in arrangements.

The leaves are also attractive, with a variegated pattern. Arizona Desert roses are easy to care for and make a great addition to any garden.

Bougainvillea (Bougainvillea Spp.)

Bougainvillea is one of the best plants to grow in Arizona. It is a hardy perennial that can handle several climates, making it perfect for the state. Bougainvillea also thrives in direct sunlight and can be planted in virtually any soil type. It is also a highly fragrant plant and can add much character to any area.

Cosmos (Cosmos Spp.)

The cosmos was originally grown in Mexico because of its ability to withstand the heat and humidity of the state. The cosmos is a succulent plant that grows best in direct sunlight. It has succulent leaves and stems that are dotted with small brown spots.

The flowers of the cosmos are white and have a purple tinge to them. The Cosmos can grow up to two feet tall and wide, making it an ideal choice for a container plant or window herb garden.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea)

Closeup of a bumblebee collecting pollen from a purple coneflower (Echinacea)

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is the best plant for growing in Arizona. This species blooms throughout the summer with beautiful lavender-coloured petals. The flowers are attractively fragrant and can add beauty to your garden.

This perennial plant has purple flowers typically used in healing ceremonies and has a long history of use as a natural remedy. The plant grows well in most soils but is best in moist, well-drained conditions. It is drought-tolerant once established but will require occasional watering during dry periods.

Sweet Potatoes (Ipomoea Batatas)

Sweet potatoes are one of Arizona’s most popular crops, and for a good reason – they’re delicious! Sweet potatoes are great for Arizona because they tolerate various climates and soil types.

They grow quickly, making them an ideal choice for small-scale farmers or gardeners who want to quickly produce a lot of food. Plus, they can be harvested throughout the year – sweet potatoes are perfect for winter dinners!

Common Sunflower (Helianthus Annuus)

The common sunflower is a hardy plant that can survive in most conditions, including hot temperatures and low rainfall. Common sunflower produces large amounts of flowers which can provide food for birds and other wildlife. This is because it does well in various climates and soil conditions.

This plant is easy to care for and has a long blooming period. Therefore, if you are looking for a garden plant that will do well in Arizona, the common sunflower is a good option.

Common Purslane (Portulaca Oleracea)

Purslane is a very easy plant to grow in Arizona. It can be grown annually, or you can divide the clump and grow them back up every other year. It prefers full sun but will grow in partial shade, too. It needs well-drained soil and plenty of water, but it tolerates drought. 

Because purslane does not require much maintenance, it’s perfect for people who have busy schedules or don’t have time to spend on their yards.

Marigold (Tagetes Spp.)

marigolds on the plantation

Marigolds are sunflower family members that can tolerate dry conditions and high temperatures. They also require little care once planted, making them ideal for beginner gardeners.

Arizona is a great place to grow marigolds. Not only do they have a long summer season, but they also do well in dry conditions. Marigolds are known for their beautiful flowers and are often used in flower arrangements.

Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena Globosa)

Globe amaranth is an incredibly versatile plant that can be used for many purposes. It can be used as a colourful addition to a garden, providing cheerful colours throughout the season. The leaves and stems can also be cooked like vegetables, making it an excellent choice for healthy and nutritious food options.

Globe amaranth is one of the best plants to grow in Arizona because it grows quickly, flowers prolifically, and can tolerate a variety of climates. The leaves are dark green and have a faint purple hue, making this plant look impressive when grown in groups.


Arizona is a great place to grow plants because of the incredibly sunny weather. Different plant types suit Arizona’s hot weather and dry conditions. Many of the plants that thrive in Arizona have wide ranges in temperature and can handle high heat and low humidity.

These plants can withstand the heat and lack of moisture in most parts of the state, making them perfect for those looking for a drought-resistant landscape.

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What is the most common plant in Arizona?

The Saguaro, one of Arizona’s most recognisable cacti species and a symbol of the Sonoran Desert, prefers to reside below 3,500 feet in elevation and is not very frost resistant.

Is it hard to grow plants in Arizona?

The Arizona heat can also be harsh, relentless, and burningly hot, especially for garden produce! Despite the dry climate and hot sun, many plants can thrive in the Arizona sun with adequate care!

What potted plants do well in extreme heat in Arizona?

Generally, succulents and cacti do well in hot climates as they have a very low water requirement and can take advantage of low humidity levels. Hardy annuals such as impatiens, zinnias, and petunias are good choices for areas with high temperatures and low humidity. These plants typically bloom quickly, requiring little attention from the gardener.